Bishop Daley’s Sermon

One of the greatest jokes: how a little priest achieved his life’s ambition

I first heard this over 30 years ago, told as a short joke by a great raconteur and teacher-training colleague, Oswald Stein. Since then, my own version has gradually evolved.

In July 1939, Oswald was sent to England in one of the last Children’s Transports. He only returned to Germany in 1947. He wrote about his German-Jewish family’s experiences in Abgebaut.

A variant of the tale

After telling the story at the ZauberWort Festival, 2023, I was delighted to hear from a good friend and teller, Christiane Willms, that she had heard a variant told about the Rabbi of Chelm and the Rabbi of Lublin. That is the way stories spread through the world!

Incidentally, of all my tales, Bishop Daley’s Sermon was always my mother’s favourite!


The video clips here are all amateur quality, shot in various theatres or, as here, in my home studio.

Their intention is just to show the range of my storytelling and give a flavour of a live performance.

Permission is granted for use in non-commercial educational contexts.

The videos are © Richard Martin.

Professionally recorded CDs and DVDs are available here.

More comic tales

The video gallery has become very extensive. So if you would enjoy more tales like this, here are a few suggestions.

Go here for tales to watch

Go here for a list of all tales included on this site

Go here to receive an e-mail notification when new tales are added

Permission to tell outlines my views on copyright

For those who are teachers: Telling stories in the classroom: basing language teaching on storytelling